Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Six Days in the Woods at Little Pond

Was going to call this post "Six Days in the Woods with Flux" but that sounds like a really horrible and private medical condition. Ahem, Flux Theatre Ensemble was kind enough to invite me and my work to their annual retreat, held in Nazareth, PA, the week before last at Little Pond. Little Pond is a lovely, rural artists' retreat run by Bill, Bridget, and Anisa George. Truly a delightful little retreat site where I got to mingle with Flux actors, directors, and writers and we worked daily on new plays and prospects for Flux's upcoming season.

I got to hear three of my plays read aloud over the course of the first three days. We table read THE SACRED GEOMETRY OF S&M PORN the first night (hell of an ice breaker) with the whole company. The group marriage scene and the pentagram kisses went over very well. Then we did a lightly staged reading of COCKFIGHTERS the following night. This seemed to be the favorite of my three plays-- it is the play most commented on later by the company. I found that I remembered the play (which was last produced in 2003) better than I thought I had and it held up better than I expected. A few of the actors really seemed to like it, and we had an outstanding cast for the reading. It is sort of strange to see a lightly staged reading of a script you have seen produced twice. And there are really some wince-worthy typos in the script I need to email the publisher about (my fault, I did the proofing).

Then on the following day we read the first draft of my latest play, ANGEL EATERS. It is hard for a first draft to stand up to back-to-back readings of more mature older siblings, which have had multiple drafts and productions. And I thought I made a hugely wrong decision about how to end this script. And there really needs to be a lot of cutting in the first half. But there are glimmers of goodness that can be built upon. I expect the second draft of the play to be quite different from this first draft, though.

I spent the rest of the retreat reading one of the male leads/would be suitors in THE THREE SISTERS (Chekov). They were out of guy actors. And working on the second play in the ANGEL EATERS trilogy, which I am now calling RATTLERS. It is going to have the feel of COCKFIGHTERS and features a characters that raises and captures rattlesnakes for a living (I have a second cousin who does this in Mangum, OK). It is a thriller/whodenit with a supernatural twist. I am about 10 pages in. Hoping to have 20 pages written by tomorrow to take into the Reverie Productions writers group.

Got to see TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA by Four O'Clock Productions; Ken Urban's latest play at The Commission, THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ESKIMOS; and Chad Beckim's Fringe Extention of LIGHTS RISE ON GRACE this weekend. Will report back on those later!

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